Page 4: Sustainable procurement
Other key factors to consider when choosing a supplier include their ability to respond quickly to changing customer needs and how well they can help towards meeting a business’ sustainability goals.
CIPS offers a structured online audit process to help purchasing managers map their organisations’ purchasing systems against best practice. This enables them to assess how energy efficient and sustainable their purchasing processes are.
Benefits of sustainable sourcing
Sustainable procurement is a high profile matter for businesses today. It can help to save money, reduce waste, improve competitiveness and build a business’ reputation. As part of their sustainability programmes, many oil companies have invested in local transportation networks or built schools. They provide jobs and by sourcing supplies locally help to develop the local economy. The global oil industry has a responsibility to the countries in which it operates to manage its operations in as sustainable way as possible. A purchasing manager might want to consider whether the supplier behaves responsibly, for example, adhering to ethical standards or sourcing raw materials in an ethical way.
For example, Shell is working with its existing suppliers to implement the Shell Supplier Principles. These set out the minimum standards which Shell suppliers need to meet. These include using energy and natural resources as efficiently as possible to minimise impact on the environment and covering health and safety issues.
Other aspects of sustainable business include managing waste effectively and reducing the company’s carbon footprint. This can be improved by choosing suppliers who also take their responsibilities towards environmental impact seriously. For example, Marks & Spencer made £70 million of efficiency savings during 2010/11. Alongside reductions in waste and packaging and increased energy efficiency, the company is working with suppliers to reduce carbon emissions in the supply chain by improving efficiency of deliveries.